Outstanding Stories » Expressing Gratitude – The Way of Life

“Expressing Gratitude – The Way of Life” is one of the outstanding stories (junior) of the second biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Samina Parveen, New Middle East International School, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Expressing Gratitude – The Way of Life

It was a couple of years ago, in a small village near Allahabad, adjoining the coast of the river Ganges, that Raju visited his grandparents during the summer vacations. His friends from other cities too came to the village to see their relatives and spend their holidays. Suhan came from Raipur, Adi from Delhi and Sameer came from Hyderabad along with his cousin Prashant who dropped in from America.

All of them were anxious to chat and discuss many things with Raju’s Grandpa, who over the years had become their best companion. The venue for their chatting session was the backyard of Raju’s house. In the summer evenings the muddy area was sprinkled with water to provide respite from the scorching heat of the north India. Grandpa was seated on a charpoy under the banyan tree and then would begin the session which was the most awaited program of the vacations.

Raju eagerly asked Grandpa what he used to do in his summer vacations .Grandpa replied that he accompanied his friends to bathe and learn swimming in the Ganges, he considered himself lucky that he got a chance to swim in pure fresh water. “Alas! Now it is so polluted that one cannot even think of consuming it. People should show respect and gratitude to our natural resources like forests, fresh water rivers etc. Our health and livelihood is intertwined with nature, so we should not indiscriminately exploit it. Hmm…. hope you all understand it dear Raju, Sameer, Adi, Suhan and Prashant.”

Suhan had a question, “Grandpa what is gratitude?” Grandpa answered this with a sigh, “Gratitude is being thankful for what you have received. It is a beautiful feeling from the core of our heart, an act of humbleness.”

Adi followed and asked “Why should we show or express gratitude?” “Yes my dear, this is because being thankful for something or someone can bring a smile on ones face, brighten up ones heart, sprinkles joy and happiness in ones dull life. Above all almighty likes people who are grateful.”

“Oh! Good, now I understood” said Adi.

Grandpa asked Raju, “Do you thank your parents?” Raju answered promptly, “Parents are wonderful creations of God, who take care of us amidst all ups and down in life .We should reciprocate them by following the values they instill in us.”

“Good boy, Raju, I am proud of you. Sameer, do you thank your teachers.”

“Yes grandpa. Teachers play a vital role as our second parents in school.”

“They toil hard to inculcate in us discipline, hard work, and punctuality. They mould our lives into better human beings.”

“You are absolutely right, Sameer. Just small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Our literature and scriptures have mentioned this from time to time. For example, I remember a story written by Mahadevi Verma, a great Hindi poetess where she mentions about her students. One of them, whose name was Ghisa, buys a watermelon by giving away his only shirt for it. He even tasted it to confirm its sweetness. Such was the gratitude of that child which brings tears to our eyes. We should never forget to wish our teachers when they pass by; it is an act of modesty.”

After hearing all this conversation, Prashant also wished to add in, he replied, “Oh ya, we in America, celebrate a day called ‘thanks giving day’, which is marked on the fourth Thursday of November in United States. It has significantly historical and cultural roots, now we have a holiday too to celebrate the occasion.”

“Oh! What a wonderful piece of information you shared with us”, rejoiced all. We are enlightened by this information, which means expressing gratitude should be a part of our lives.

“Boys, you must always practice it in your lives and it will enhance your personality and you will be liked by all. This is my piece of advice, my dear little champs”, said grandpa and rose up indicating that the session was over for the day. The dark and still night enveloped us, and soon we dispersed in the quietness of it.

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